Tennessee Pastors Push for Pro-Life Policies

Advocate Andy

Advocacy group calls out access to health care, childcare and highlights DCS crisis

In the face of legislation advancing in the Tennessee General Assembly focused on access to abortion, a group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition called on legislators to take action on what the group says are "pro-life" policies.

Rev. Tonya Barnett, Minister at Church of Our Savior UCC in Knoxville, said, "We know that the number of abortions decrease when women have access to quality birth control, to sex education that goes beyond abstinence only, and when social systems are in place to provide nutrition assistance, affordable childcare and access to health care. I challenge our Tennessee legislators to write laws that focus on these areas if they are truly trying to protect Tennessee children."

Rev. Kelli X, Pastor of The Village Church in Madison, called out the current DCS crisis and the state's refusal to expand Medicaid as examples of policies that are not pro-life.

"Our elected leaders claim the Christian faith and use it as an excuse to pass dangerous and harmful laws that come between women, families, and their doctors. They claim to be 'pro-life' yet they refuse to adequately fund or staff DCS, they refuse free federal money to expand Medicaid, they refuse to provide family leave for new mothers and parents, they refuse to fully fund our public schools, and make little effort to improve the crisis of the lack of affordable childcare or housing."

The group said that rather than restricting access to reproductive healthcare, lawmakers should focus on policies that promote and extend life and improve quality of life for all Tennesseans.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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